Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Skimming from the ATM

From HoCo police:

Howard County police are asking the public’s help in identifying two men who installed an illegal device on an Ellicott City ATM and then fraudulently withdrew thousands of dollars from victims’ accounts.

Through investigation, police believe the suspects installed and removed a skimming device on multiple dates in October at a drive-through ATM at Columbia Bank in the 4400 block of Long Gate Parkway in Ellicott City.

Skimming devices fit over existing ATM card openings and record account information without the knowledge of the user. Thieves then download the account information and fabricate fraudulent ATM cards that are then used to illegally withdraw funds from victims’ accounts.

Victims began to report unauthorized withdrawals from their accounts in mid-November. To date, police believe the suspects have successfully withdrawn more than $90,000 from victims’ accounts. Investigators believe attempts were made to access more than 100 accounts in hundreds of transactions. The fraudulent transactions have occurred throughout the Baltimore-D.C. region at various ATMs.

Police ask anyone who may recognize the suspects to call 410-313-3200. Callers may remain anonymous. If you notice anyone acting suspicious at or around an ATM, call 911.

Residents are advised to carefully inspect ATMs before using them. Customers should look for unusual equipment, wires or other devices attached to the ATM. Check the device for loose attachments that are temporarily affixed. If a machine appears as though it has been tampered with, do not scan your card, and alert your bank immediately.

If you have been a victim of fraudulent ATM activity, report it immediately to your bank. If the illegal charges were made in Howard County or if you believe your card was compromised as part of this series, please call Howard County police to file a report.

Here's a link to the pictures.

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